New England Secondary School Consortium

2017 School Redesign in Action Conference

 Complete Program (.PDF)
 Online Interactive Schedule
2017 Portrait Gallery: Ensuring Equity and Excellence for all Learners

CONFERENCE SESSION VIDEOS

  • Personalized Learning: The Path to Excellence and Equity, Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, Superintendent, Hartford Public Schools, CT [watch now]
  • Avoiding the Equity Traps, Montpelier High School, VT [watch now]
  • When Developing a Vibrant Community of Learners, Which Comes First: Students or Teachers?, Ellington Middle School, CT [watch now]
  • Individualized Education Plans, Kids RSU #2, ME [watch now]
  • Performance Based Assessment, Revere High School, MA [watch now]
  • Separating Academic Performance and Habits of Work, New Haven Academy, CT [watch now]

Pre-Conference Sessions

Empowering Parents and Families: Building Leadership Skills and Capacity Inside and Outside the School System

Annenberg Institute for School Reform, RI

In this interactive, hands-on, strategy-development session led by a team from the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, participants will think critically about how to design equity-driven school-family partnerships informed by Karen Mapp’s Dual-Capacity Building Framework for School-Family Partnerships and the Annenberg Institute for School Reform’s Family Leadership Framework. Putting Annenberg’s “smart education systems” idea into practice, participants will also reflect on how their current school, district, and community structures and practices align with these frameworks, and develop ideas and action steps to improve current practice or implement new ones.

The session will be organized into three parts: Learning, Reflection, and Planning. By the end, participants will have completed a quick analysis of their schools’ current school-family partnership practices and developed a plan for how to deepen their work to build dual capacity and support family leadership.

Suggested Participants

This workshop will work well for teams from the same district, school, or community that consist of district and school administrators, staff, teachers, and community-based partners and parent leaders. However, individual participants and/or teams with representation from one or two of the stakeholder groups listed above will also benefit.

*Pre-Reading

All registered participants should read the following documents in advance of the pre-conference workshop:

  1.  Partners in Education: A Dual Capacity-Building Framework for Family-School Partnerships
  2.  The Family Leadership Self-Assessment Rubric: An Indicator Tool for School Districts
Session
Student, Family, and Community Engagement
Presenters

Keith Catone (Associate Director of Community Organizing and Engagement, AISR); Joanna Geller (Senior Research Associate, AISR); Angela Romans (Co-Director of District Systems and Administration, AISR)

Contact

Keith Catone, keith_catone@brown.edu

Recalibrating School-Wide Discipline and Student Support: Building a Restorative and Accountable Approach

Engaging Schools, MA

Students, teachers, administrators, and district leaders all over the country are seeking to create innovative systems for reducing discipline problems in schools. With secondary school principals playing leading roles, these stakeholders are seeking alternatives to ineffective and inequitable disciplinary policies and practices that result in the use, overuse, and disproportional use of punitive and exclusionary sanctions that adversely impact students academically, socially, developmentally, and emotionally. Most educators aspire to help students develop the habits and skills of self-management, self-discipline, and social and emotional efficacy. However, the gap between these goals and current disciplinary practices is often great, the strategies for creating change are not clear, and the core elements of a different approach are not evident.

In this workshop, participants will (1) develop an integrated vision of school-wide discipline and student support, (2) improve their understanding of the role of school climate and culture in discipline and student support, (3) explore the qualities of an accountable and restorative model, (4) learn the components of an effective system of discipline and student support, (5) think together about a school’s vision (it’s mission, beliefs, and values) and how it provides direction for a school-wide discipline and student support model, and (6) explore school-wide initiatives that can become part “of the culture” and create an improved school climate.

Suggested Participants

This workshop is designed for district and school leaders, educators, and school-based teams—including support staff, counselors, social workers, psychologists, and special-education coordinators—as well as family and community leaders who work with youth on issues related to education, discipline, and social justice.

Pre-Reading Materials
Shifting Gears Chapter 2.pdf
Recalibrating Climate Culture and Discipline.pdf

Session
Student, Family, and Community Engagement
Presenters

Larry Dieringer (Executive Director)

Contact

Extreme Differentiation in the Math Classroom

Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School, Devens, MA

Tailoring instruction to meet each student’s specific needs is an essential aspect of personalized learning. Differentiated instruction—a practice many expert teachers have employed for years—is one way to accomplish this.

In this session, participants will learn techniques to differentiate in the math classroom, first by experiencing learning as a student and then reflecting alongside fellow participants. Participants will be led through a unit design process that will also provide an opportunity to try out the activities from a student’s point of view.

A portion of this design process includes the development of more challenging, open-ended assessment tasks aligned to school graduation standards that encompass the Common Core Mathematical Practices. Participants will complete an assignment and experience the possibilities for differentiation as they work authentically with the same problem. Participants will also have the opportunity to examine student work on this same problem and discuss the variety of ways that students can show success.

Session
Teaching + Learning
Presenters

Dawn Crane (math teacher)

Assessing Learning in a Proficiency-Based Learning System

Great Schools Partnership, ME

As schools move to implement personalized learning and enable students to demonstrate their learning in more individualized ways, the role of assessment becomes increasingly paramount. How can we ensure that while we personalize learning, we continue to define consistent and equitable standards for all students? In this session, coaches from the Great Schools Partnership will share strategies and resources that educators can use to create schools and classrooms in which students and teachers use a variety of methods to get a clear understanding of students’ strengths and weaknesses. Through discussion, interactive activities, and the review of examples, participants will consider how students can produce evidence of learning, and will explore how educators can use task-neutral scoring criteria to assess what students know and can do when they are engaged in different learning experiences.

Session
Teaching + Learning
Presenters

Mary Hastings (Senior Associate), Christina Horner (Senior Associate), Jon Ingram (Senior Associate)

Contact

On Your Way!: The Proficiency-Based Learning Journey Simplified

Great Schools Partnership, ME

Proficiency-based teaching and learning systems are designed to help students take charge of their learning by asking these three questions: Where do I want to be? Where am I now? How can I close the gap?  In this interactive workshop, participants will hear about the fundamental components of an effective proficiency-based teaching and learning system and learn about an array of resources to support them along their journey.  Participants will also begin to develop a plan that addresses policies, practices, and community-engagement activities that will lead to the successful implementation of proficiency-based learning.

Session
Teaching + Learning
Presenters

Tony Lamair Burks II (Senior Associate) + Kate Gardoqui (Senior Associate)

Contact

Reflection and Collaboration to Enhance Instructional Practice

Great Schools Partnership, ME

While the end of the school year is in sight, there is still time to reach each of your students and ensure they all finish the year well. Which students are thriving? Which ones, despite your best efforts, are still struggling?  How might you use an extended block of time with colleagues from across the country to reflect on your practice in a way that allows you to hone in on specific elements that will help students reach their year-end goals? Using a self-assessment tool, participants will identify areas of focus to enhance their instructional practice. Through reflecting on elements of effective instruction, participants will consider ways that attention to these elements can help teachers reach all learners. Participants will leave with a set of strategies to enhance their own practice, strengthen work with their professional learning group, or design school-wide professional development.

Session
Teaching + Learning
Presenters

Jean Haeger (Senior Associate) + Nicole Bradeen (Senior Associate)

Plenary Sessions

“Does this Assignment Count?” Focus on Formative Instruction and Assessment, A Critical Component in a Proficiency-Based System

Bonny Eagle High School, ME

Learn about Bonny Eagle High School’s transition to a proficiency-based system, which has been ongoing for the past five years. The work began with the identification of standards and development of summative assessments and is currently focused on formative instruction. Using a combination of Assessment For Learning (AFL) strategies, technology, and teacher ingenuity, we are improving instructional practices. As a result, student engagement is increasing and the number of students who need to remediate assessments is dropping.

Participants will see how we are getting a big impact with the use of a 1/2 time instructional coach and a handful of AFL teacher leaders to help change instruction building-wide. Learn how this work is not “one more thing” but can reduce teacher stress. At the same time, our students are beginning to take ownership of their learning.

Participants will leave with an understanding of how one high school is improving student learning by focusing on the identification of clear learning targets and helping students track their own progress as they prepare for summative assessments.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Kate Dumont (instructional coach), Erin Maguire (assistant principal), Lori Napolitano (principal)

“But How Will My Child Get Into College?”: Creating Proficiency-Based Transcripts

Baxter Academy for Technology and Science, Portland, ME

How can schools create a transcript that accurately represents student achievement in a proficiency-based system? At Baxter Academy, students do not receive a single grade at the end of a course, so traditional reports and transcripts are not an option.

After redesigning its grading scale and assessment system, Baxter Academy created an easy-to-read, easy-to-interpret transcript that represents a student’s learning over time.  Baxter’s unique transcript is built around accurate reporting on student achievement of standards using graphs and charts. The school is piloting this transcript with its first graduating class and will have feedback from post-secondary institutions as well as college acceptances to share.

Participants will learn about Baxter’s unique grading and assessment system and transcript and will leave with ideas about how to bring this authentic approach to standards-based reporting back to their schools.

Sessions
Friday, March 18, 10:45am; Friday, March 18, 1:15pm
Presenters

Katherine Driver (director of guidance), Nathaniel Edmunds (design teacher)

Presentation
Contact

“But I Have 120 Students on My Roster!”: Building Partnerships with Families in Secondary Schools

1647 Families, MA

A myth of secondary school family engagement that we hear too often is that families want to drop their kids off in ninth grade and pick them up at graduation. Is this true? (Hint: Nope.) Families want to be engaged! But even if they know that we should build partnerships with families, secondary school teachers and staff can feel overwhelmed by the thought of engaging with every family regularly, especially when they may teach over one hundred different students a year.

In this session, presenters from 1647 Families and the schools they partner with will lead an honest conversation about how the work of strengthening family engagement and partnerships is currently being done in 1647 partner schools. Presenters will explore these questions: How can staff members build equal partnerships with families in the middle- and high-school space? How can we “undo” the power dynamic between school and home that exists? And how do we create welcoming schools for all families—and support staff in doing so?

Participants will receive a brief overview of positive family engagement strategies, including proactive positive communication, re-vamped academic events (e.g., conferences), and home visits. They will also hear about the strategies that have not worked, and the lessons learned from them. Participants will walk away with tactics to try in their classrooms, teams, and/or school.

Session
Student, Family, + Community Engagement
Presenters

Elizabeth Canada (Director of Coaching)

Presentation

Elizabeth Canada, 

elizabeth.canada@1647families.org

“The Future of Learning is Yours”: Personalization through Student-Designed Projects

Westerly High School, RI

In this session, participants will hear about one school’s innovative initiative to provide alternative paths to student success with a student-designed personalized learning opportunity, which allowed students to design their own individualized learning pathways. Presenters will share how they believe this high-quality learning opportunity deepens its commitment to equity for all learners.

Presenters will outline their framework for planning and implementing a dynamic student-centered, student-motivated, student-driven project-based course. They will share their implementation strategies and explain how the course found its rhythm. Students will present their “passion projects” and comment on how their autonomy contributed to rich learning, original craftsmanship, and meaningful assessments. They will explain how their work habits connected to their academic performance.

Participants will learn to plan and grow a vibrant and personalized project-based learning course completely driven by student choices.

Session
Teaching + Learning
Presenters

Erica DeVoe (English Teacher), Michelle Doucette (Student), Todd Grimes (Principal), Jazmyne Kinney (Student), Tony Lementowicz (Instructional Coordinator), Thomas Mclaughlin (Student), Denise Oliveira (English Teacher), Hayley Townsend (Student)

Contact

A 21st Century Curriculum: Relevant, Project-based, Student-centered Learning

Milton High School, Milton, Vermont

Two years ago Milton High School undertook a complete revision of its core curriculum in grades 9–12. Using the conceptual framework developed by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills as a starting point, Milton High School set out to design curricula and instructional practices that modeled creativity, innovation, critical thinking, and collaboration using relevant, project-based, student-centered strategies that focused on real-world skills that students could apply outside of high school and in whatever life path they chose. To avoid the trap of incrementalism and stay within tight budgetary limitations, Milton developed a comprehensive, systematic improvement process that fluidly moved from development of new curricula to the implementation of a 1:1 technology initiative starting with this year’s freshman class to the delivery of the professional development needed to make it all successful in the classroom. Join educators from Milton High School as they share the challenges and successes faced on the way to realizing a 21st century learning program for every student.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Kerry Sewell (director of curriculum), Anne Blake (co-principal), Scott Thompson (assistant principal), Katri O’Neill (technology integration specialist), Karen Hammond (teacher), Angela King (teacher) Jason Gorczyk (teacher), Amanda Notman (special educator)

Contact

Scott Thompson, sthompson@mtsd-vt.org

A Call to Leadership: Harnessing the Power of Student Voice in Leading School Improvement

Harwood Union High School, Moretown, VT

At Harwood Union High School, students are not only taking a proactive role in designing their own education and planning for future learning, but in serving as leaders in the school community responsible for creating the systems and structures necessary to ensure a personalized education is possible.

In this interactive session, administrators and teachers from Harwood Union will focus on the benefits of a shared leadership model in which adults and youth lead together. The presentation will provide the rationale for this type of shared leadership model and describe the practical elements as they relate to the implementation of personalized learning.

Participants will have the opportunity to construct a proposal or plan for instituting a distributed and shared leadership model inclusive of teachers and students in their school, and will leave with an understanding of the benefits of a distributed and shared leadership model inclusive of both teachers and students.

Sessions
Thursday, March 17, 2:15pm; Thursday, March 17, 3:45pm
Presenters

Emma Cosgrove (student), Noah Eckstein (student), Jonah Ibson (teacher), Sam Krotinger (teacher), Cole Lavoie (student), Hazel Macmillan (student), Amy Rex (principal)

Contact

Amy Rex, arex@wwsu.org

A Collaborative Approach to Dropout Prevention: It’s All About the KID!

North Country Charter Academy, Littleton, NH

North Country Charter Academy is a mission-driven public charter school collaborating with ten school districts to solve an intractable dropout problem. The school offers a personalized, competency-based curriculum that utilizes a blended, distance-learning model in which students work independently and at their own pace in a brick-and-mortar building with the support of a certified teaching staff. Students are provided multiple pathways and opportunities by which to complete high school, and they earn credit when they demonstrate mastery of subject matter. Over the past ten years, the model has contributed significantly to a 74% reduction in the number of dropouts in Grafton and Coos Counties in Northern New Hampshire and has graduated a total of 362 students – 78 of which had been prior high school dropouts.

Participants will leave this session with a clear understanding of how the North Country model operates and how they can adapt this model for use in any type of educational setting.

Sessions
Thursday, March 26 | 3:45 pm; Friday, March 27 | 9:15 am
Presenters

Scott Kleinschrodt (center director), Lisa Lavoie (principal), Greg Williams (Teacher), Lynne Grigelevich (Registrar)

Presentation
Contact

A Commitment to Change: Informing School Redesign with Student Voices

Come hear three students reflect on equity in education, the meaning of success, and authentic student engagement. Tianna Ridge (Attleboro High School, MA), Jamaal Hankey (Essex High School, VT), and Anna Parker (Yarmouth High School, ME) will discuss the experiences and relationships that have contributed to their success. Tianna, Jamaal, and Anna will share their hopes for all students, and will challenge us to think about how we can each support, inspire, and engage all of the young people with whom we work. At the close of the plenary, participants will be asked to make a personal commitment to learning and leading for equity in their own way, informed by these students’ perspectives.

Session
Tuesday, March 13, 8:00-8:30 AM
Presenters

Jamaal Hankey (Student, Essex High School, VT), Andrea Summers (Senior Associate, Great Schools Partnership), Moises Nuñez (Senior Associate, Great Schools Partnership), Anna Parker (Student, Yarmouth High School, ME), Tianna Ridge (Student, Attleboro High School, MA)

A Critical Conversation about Racial Equity in Northern New England

MaineSpark, ME

How should states in northern New England approach issues of racial and ethnic equity in their education systems? What does it mean to achieve equity and close gaps in a largely homogenous region? This session will draw on Maine’s experience of developing a big-tent alliance of organizations in the education sector and beyond to address these crucial issues. We’ll share key lessons from the efforts of the New England Alliances for College and Career Readiness more broadly, then explore in depth the Maine alliance’s work to balance its focus on racial and economic equity. Session participants will learn about, analyze and discuss the work of MaineSpark’s Future Success track to empower racially diverse student populations to reach college and career readiness. Educate Maine will then lead participants in a critical conversation about approaching equity in their own classrooms, schools and districts.

Session participants will learn about approaches to discussing and working toward racial and ethnic equity in education systems, reflect on lessons learned from Maine in this area, and leverage their own expertise and experiences to generate new ideas for connecting with and engaging diverse communities in authentic ways.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Ed Cervone (executive director, Educate Maine), Kate Leveille (project manager, MaineSpark), Emily Weiss (principal, Education First Consulting)

A Mastery-Based Lesson on Mastery-Based Learning

High School in the Community, New Haven, CT

In this session, presenters will describe how High School in the Community has advanced mastery-based learning to help all students take more responsibility over their own education, while they also address skill deficits, acquire college- and career-ready skills, and excel in their areas of interest. To make the session more resonant and authentic for participants, it will be structured as a mastery-based lesson! So whether you have never heard of mastery-based learning, or whether you already changing practices in your school or classroom, our mastery-based approach will both broaden and deepen your understanding.

Session
Friday, March 21 | 9:15 am + 10:45 am
Presenters

Erik Good (building leader), Gail Emilsson (teacher), Adeline Marzialo (teacher), Julie Vargas (student)

Presentation
Contact

A New Way of Building Partnerships with Families

The Right Question Institute, MA

When parents and family members have the opportunity to develop key skills to support their children’s education, monitor progress, and advocate for them when necessary, they can partner more effectively with schools to ensure student success. The Right Question Institute’s evidence-based school-family partnership builds parents’ skills of asking better questions, participating in decisions, and playing three key roles in their child’s education. Using this strategy, parents learn to ask their own questions about their children’s education, and educators learn how to build parents’ skills for more effective participation by using a set of simple methods.

Session participants will experience the school-family partnership strategy, will explore the art and science behind the methods, and will practice integrating them into their work. This session will prepare participants to use this strategy, which has been applied to a variety of setting producing consistent results, at their schools and share it with colleagues.

In this session, participants will: 1) experience the Right Question Institute’s school-family partnership strategy 2) explore examples of implementation of the strategy; 3) acquire resources and materials.

Session
Monday, March 12, 8:30 -11:00 AM
Presenters

Luz Santana (co-director) 

Contact

Luz Santana, luz@rightquestion.org

A Sample System for Proficiency-Based Learning in the Classroom

Burlington High School, Burlington, VT

This session will introduce participants to the key elements of proficiency-based learning through an in-depth investigation of the instructional process in a high school chemistry course. The presenters will describe a flexible instructional cycle that includes frequent formative assessment and a balance of whole-class instruction and personalized time for practice, re-teaching, tutoring, and extension work. They will also share systems and strategies that teachers can use to manage highly differentiated classrooms, empower students to monitor their own learning, and create a growth-mindset culture. Additional examples from the humanities, mathematics, world languages, ELL classes, and other scientific disciplines will also be discussed to illustrate how Burlington High School teachers are applying proficiency-based structures across the curriculum.

Participants will leave with concrete strategies and an array of materials they can adapt in their own classrooms, and ample time will be provided for participants to ask questions and participate in discussion.

Session
Friday, March 27 | 10:45 am + 1:15 pm
Presenters

Amy Dickson (teacher learning coordinator), Molly Heath (science teacher)

Presentation
Contact

Amy Dickson, amy@partnershipvt.org

A Three-Step Process for Successful Learning Using Self-Assessment, Peer-Assessment, and Reassessment Effectively

Poland Regional High School, ME

At Poland Regional High School, a flagship public high school for proficiency-based education in Maine, an emphasis on self- and peer-assessment and a school-wide process for reassessment has supported students towards successfully reaching their learning goals. Teachers have implemented classroom tasks specifically designed from the current leading guidelines for self- and peer-assessment in hopes of making each student’s learning process transparent. Furthermore, a school-wide process for reassessment has been adopted to ensure each student has the opportunity to demonstrate their best learning on summative assessments. In this session we will walk you through the process that our science, math, and humanities classes have developed for self- and peer-assessment as well as outline the process we took to develop our school-wide reassessment protocol.

Participants will leave this session with practical approaches to teaching self- and peer-assessment; an understanding of how reassessment opportunities can reinforce learning and how assessment strategies are managed in a proficiency based/ standards-based system.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Jessica Elias Castillo (science teacher), Patrick Martin (biology and anatomy/physiology teacher), Laurie Sevigny (social studies teacher)

A Vision for Learning: Using Self-Reflection and Peer Review to Align Your School Improvement Efforts

New England Association of Schools and Colleges, MA

In this session participants will learn how to use research-based NEASC CPS Standards which define best practices as a tool for self-reflection and peer review. Through a process of self-reflection based on evidence and in collaboration with stakeholders, schools can develop a vision for learning with specific and measurable goals for success. Participants will use collaborative practices to explore the NEASC CPS Standards for Accreditation, focusing on student learning. We will do a crosswalk with the Global Best Practices to see how to align school improvement efforts. Participants will experience elements of the self-reflection process including the review of student work, classroom observations, document review, survey data, stakeholder interviews, and peer review. With the Standards in mind and the understanding of the essential components of self-reflection, participants will develop an outline for a process to improve learning, achievement, and well-being for students.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Alyson Geary (deputy director), Bill Wehrli (associate director)

Agents of Their Own Learning: A District’s Proficiency-Based System Enters Maturity

Regional School Unit 2, Hallowell, ME

Regional School Unit 2 has been implementing K–12 proficiency-based learning for several years now. Join the presenters as they describe how their model has given students significant amounts of voice and choice in their learning. In the district’s three high schools, students have authentic opportunities to design their own learning pathways, learn at their own pace, and engage in learning experiences that not only match their interests, but that build upon the resources and opportunities that exist in the wider community. In this session, participants will learn about the structure, schedule, and other design elements that have empowered the district to dramatically increase personalization for students without watering down standards.

Session
Thursday, March 20 | 2:15 pm + 3:45 pm
Presenters

Rick Amero (principal, Monmouth Academy), John Armentrout (director, information technology), Christine Arsenault (teacher, Monmouth Academy), Brenda Dalbeck (teacher, Hall-Dale High School), Virgel Hammonds (superintendent), Libby Ladner (teacher, Hall-Dale Middle School), Steve Lavoie (principal, Richmond High School), Eric Palleschi (teacher, Monmouth Middle School), Megan Rounds (teacher, Richmond High School), Matt Shea (coordinator of student achievement), Mark Tinkham (principal, Hall-Dale High/Middle School), Charlie Urquhart (teacher, Richmond High School)

Presentation
Contact

Virgel Hammonds, vhammonds@kidsrsu.org

NESSC States

Connecticut Sessions

The Gradebook Whisperer: Using Traditional Tools to Support Mastery Based Learning and Assessment

Academy of Information Technology + Engineering, CT

Can’t wait to get started with mastery-based learning and assessments? In this session, teachers from the Academy of Information Technology and Engineering, a public magnet school in the urban district of Stamford, Connecticut, share their successful strategies for implementing mastery-based learning in their classrooms without waiting for district-wide changes in technology infrastructure.

The thoughtful early adoption of mastery-based learning and assessment discussed in this session will inform participants about piloting this model within their own school cultures, and help identify pitfalls, opportunities, and best practices before widespread implementation.

Participants will learn how to develop a culture supporting mastery-based learning while using current gradebook software and existing assessments as tools for communication and empowerment rather than summative judgment, putting students at the center of their own learning. They will also learn how to use parent outreach to create a community of personalized learning in their own classrooms.

Session
TBD

When Developing a Vibrant Community of Learners, Which Comes First: Students or Teachers?

Ellington Middle School, CT

Can there be a vibrant culture of learning and risk taking for students in schools without first establishing one for the adults who teach them? In this session, Ellington Middle School will share its approach to developing such a vibrant professional learning culture using structures like teacher-led book clubs, schoolwide learning walks, and professional inquiry groups focused on personalized learning.

Presenters will share the practical strategies they used to foster a school culture and climate where adult learners regularly participate in, and lead, high-level personalized learning and group-based professional conversations. Participants will have the opportunity to use Backchanneling, an interactive digital platform, in real time.

Participants will discover how Ellington Middle School used the Great Schools Partnership’s Proficiency-Based Learning Self-Assessment as a framework for individual and schoolwide reflection and goal-setting. This session will also zero in on the NESSC’s Global Best Practices Indicator 1.8: Learning Communities.

Session
Organizational Design
Contact

David Pearson, dpearson@ellingtonschools.net 

What’s Equity Got to Do With It?: Creating a Pathway for All Students to Succeed

Everyday Democracy, CT

In an effort to remove barriers to student success, many schools employ evidence-based best practices in classroom design, utilize the latest technology to engage students, and implement strategies to reach out to parents as partners. And yet, many of those schools still observe some of their students, particularly those who have been historically marginalized, still falling behind. All too often, barriers to student achievement are difficult to see and therefore difficult to address.

In this interactive workshop, presenters will share how one Connecticut school opened its doors to explore how race, ethnicity, and class can impact student achievement. Presenters will explain how the strategy revealed and addressed some of the hidden barriers to student success.

Participants will leave with tools to unpack how certain practices and policies serve as racialized structural barriers to all students succeeding. Participants will be offered the opportunity to practice activities and explore how white privilege, implicit bias, school culture, and unconscious expectations work to perpetuate student disadvantages.

Session
Student, Family, + Community Engagement

Story Exchange: A Tool for Culturally Responsive Teaching

High School in the Community Academy for Law + Social Justice, CT

High School in the Community set out to build professional development around teaching, learning, and leading across differences knowing they needed to provide the space for teachers and students to connect and truly understand the value and purpose of culturally responsive education.

With support from Narrative 4, an organization that strives “to build a community of empathic global citizens who improve the world through the exchange of personal narratives,” teachers and students joined together for a story exchange. The story exchange model challenges participants to walk in another person’s shoes by trading personal stories and then retelling their partners’ stories as if they were their own.

Participants in this workshop will learn about High School in the Community’s experience with the story exchange model and receive strategies for using the model in their schools to promote equity and voice for students and teachers. They will also gain an understanding of the importance of building relationships and strengthening communication when working to establish culturally responsive instructional practices.

Session
Teaching + Learning
Contact

Cari Strand, cari.strand@nhboe.net

Celebrating Authentic Student Work and Reflection with the Senior Portfolio

Metropolitan Business Academy, CT

At Metropolitan Business Academy, seniors are required to present on work that demonstrates mastery of the school’s six interdisciplinary graduation standards to fulfill their senior graduation portfolio requirement.

In this interactive session, participants will learn through direct analysis of relevant student work and artifacts, and review and discuss New Haven’s 21st century competencies, exemplar portfolios, portfolio templates, and student reflections. They will hear directly from current seniors and recent graduates about their experiences building, improving, and presenting their senior portfolios. Students will share excerpts from their portfolios that highlight their areas of strength and growth, and show how personalized this form of performance-based assessment can be.

Presenters will also discuss how graduation portfolios tell the full story of adolescent learning more than narrow forms of assessment like standardized testing, and a senior advisor will share best practices and lessons learned after two successful years of 100% student participation.

Session
Teaching + Learning
Contact

Promoting High Achievement through Teacher Collaboration using Critical Race Theory and Harro’s Cycle of Liberation

Metropolitan Learning Center for Global + International Studies, CT

In this critical conversation, participants will explore collaborative processes to support academic achievement for diverse learners. Using Critical Race Theory and the Cycle of Liberation as conceptual frameworks, the presenters will use private reflection, group discussion, and teamwork to consider the effects teacher collaboration can have on academic outcomes for diverse learners.

Guided by the work of Lopez and Lopez (2010) on counter-storytelling, participants will consider the following three questions: How do racism, sexism, classism and other forms of subordination shape the experiences of students in the U.S? How do institutions of education maintain race, gender, class and immigration status (alienage) discrimination? How does education work as a tool to remedy these problems?

By engaging in this session, participants will explore how teacher-collaboration can be used to enhance learning opportunities for diverse learners and promote academic achievement.

Session
Teaching + Learning
Contact

Sasha Douglas, sdouglas@crec.org

Wingman: A Student-Centered Approach to Social and Emotional Learning

New Fairfield Middle School, CT

The Wingman program at New Fairfield Middle School strives to make every student feel accepted. This student-led program is run primarily by the 7th and 8th grade Pack Leadership Team, which teaches lessons throughout the year to classmates dealing with a wide variety of topics such as empathy, teamwork, and the power of words. The Wingman program teaches students through activities encouraging reinforcement, and also recognizes students throughout the school year who step up for their fellow classmates.

Co-advisors Joel Pardalis and Rachel Wilson and their Pack Student Leadership students will present the framework of the program and share tips for getting a Wingman program up and running in their school. Participants will leave with model lessons and strategies that have made this program successful and sustainable in New Fairfield.

Session
Teaching + Learning
Contact

Separating Academic Performance and Habits of Work: Lessons Learned and Shared

New Haven Academy, CT

What do schools need to consider when separating academic performance and habits of work? What challenges does this separation present? What works well? Many schools implementing mastery-based learning disaggregate academic performance and habits of work, but opportunities for schools to gather and explore these questions are not common.

In this session, staff from New Haven Academy will present their approach to establishing this separation as a way to start a conversation among peers who are in the implementation phase of mastery-based learning.

Participants will engage in critical reflection on the essential questions posed above. They will be asked to share their own strategies for separating academic performance and habits of work, and will have the chance to hear strategies and lessons learned from New Haven Academy presenters and their fellow participants.

Session
Teaching + Learning
Contact

Making the Move to Mastery: Lessons Learned at Windsor Locks Middle School

Windsor Locks Middle School, CT

Windsor Locks Middle School has been implementing a mastery-based, student-centered learning system since 2013. Over the course of the last three years, they have achieved considerable success and faced some interesting challenges.

Leaders and teachers from the Middle School will share these experiences and emphasize key practices and policies that have helped them to course-correct and refine their commitment to ensuring that all students achieve academic success within a personalized teaching and learning system.

Participants will engage in thought-provoking discussions to analyze potential pitfalls they will face in their journey, and to consider the strategies they can employ to overcome those pitfalls or avoid them altogether. They will be able to use the experiences and lessons learned from an “early innovator” school to guide their own change process and examine school practices and policies that promote mastery-based, student-centered learning.

Session
School + District Leadership
Contact

David Prinstein, dprinstein@wlps.org

Maine Sessions

Taking Back Tutorials: Creating a Student-Centered, Collegiate Learning Commons at Your High School

Baxter Academy for Technology + Science, ME

Hear from the student director of the Baxter Learning Commons (BLC) about how to start a student-centered, student-directed learning lab modeled after a college writing center. Using the BLC’s three-tiered approach to academic support, students are able to book appointments with a peer tutor, with a teacher, or at an independent work-station for support in courses across the curriculum. They are empowered to seek help of their own accord.

Participants in this session will examine data from the BLC entrance and exit surveys and hear about the programmatic and philosophical essentials required to start a learning commons of their own. This session will also address the role of advisors, response to intervention coordinators, guidance counselors, parents/guardians, and special educators in launching and supporting this unique, positively framed learning center.

Session
Teaching + Learning
Contact

We’ve Come Miles and Have Miles to Go

Gorham Middle School, ME

 

Participants will hear teacher and student perspectives on Gorham Middle School’s journey toward developing a proficiency-based teaching and learning system. Presenters will discuss creating performance indicators for skills for life (work habits) and the proficiency-based learning process in a student-centered classroom, from criteria to creation to self-evaluation.

Participants will be engaged in self-reflective formative assessment and use guiding questions to provoke critical thinking about proficiency based learning. Participants will be provided a structured environment where they can begin to explore how to make PBL a reality in their classrooms and schools; for this reason, you are warmly invited to contribute working drafts of their schools’ graduation standards and performance indicators, any and all rubrics and scoring criteria, and student work samples.

Session
Teaching + Learning
Contact

Individualized Education Plans: Personalized Learning Come to Life

Kids RSU #2, ME

In this session, participants will see how a student’s individualized education plan (IEP) is personalized learning coming to life. Presenters will share the journey of a student with an IEP, as the student receives specially designed instruction and participates with peers in the general curriculum.

Participants will gain insight and practical applications about using strategies to meet higher-level standards while incorporating the skill-acquisition needed to meet proficiency. They will leave with a meaningful understanding of the connections students with disabilities and their teachers create in the journey through student-centered, proficiency-based learning.

Session
Teaching + Learning
Contact

Deb Murphy, dmurphy@kidsrsu.org

Reaching Across Language and Culture: Engaging Multilingual Families from Diverse Backgrounds

Portland Public Schools Multilingual and Multicultural Center, ME

In many districts and schools, the membership of important groups, from the school board to the PTO, and the attendees of open houses, events, and other activities do not reflect the diversity of the student body. How can schools increase parent and family involvement, particularly among culturally diverse or non-English-speaking families? What are the typical barriers and how can schools overcome them? Portland Public Schools in Portland, Maine, serves more than 2,400 students, including 1,700 English-language learners, who come from homes in which approximately 60 different native languages are spoken—a situation that clearly makes family engagement particularly challenging. In this context, the district’s Multilingual and Multicultural Center works to empower learners by ensuring proficiency in English and other world languages, deepen appreciation and understanding of cultural identity, and build supportive relationships among families, educators, and the community.

In this workshop, participants will examine common teacher, staff, and parent expectations about family involvement, and how culture influences perceptions and understanding of the roles that parents, teachers, school leaders, and other staff can or should play the education of students. Participants will leave with practical strategies they can use to successfully reach out to, communicate with, and actively engage multilingual families in the life of the school, including those who are recent arrivals to the United States.

Session
Student, Family, and Community Engagement
Presenters

Maureen Clancy (Language Access Coordinator), Grace Valenzuela (Director)

Contact

Grace Valenzuela | valeng@portlandschools.org

New Hampshire Sessions

Assessing Learning Targets Through Project-Based Learning

Great Bay Charter School, NH

At Great Bay Charter School, students engage in project-based learning that assesses the knowledge and skills they have gained throughout the course of a quarter, semester, and year in a competency-based system. In this presentation, participants will be introduced to the school’s approach to project-based learning that encompasses the entire school community, grades 7-12, including interdisciplinary study classes.

Great Bay Charter School’s administrators and English and math teachers will share their experiences writing and implementing projects that allow students to meet competencies through real-life situations and creative means. Presenters will share examples of projects, including school-wide multidisciplinary exhibition projects, short-term Quickfire projects, advisory projects, and interdisciplinary projects between two or more classes.

Participants will discover how to approach both classroom-based and school-wide projects, and will hear how teachers can use these projects to assess learning targets. Participants will leave with several sample projects that have been successful at Great Bay Charter School.

Session
Teaching + Learning
Contact

Peter Stackhouse, pstackhouse@gbecs.org

Moving Toward Collaboration: Lessons from Research in Rural Areas

Plymouth State University, NH

Research has shown that, on average, high school students with disabilities are 3.4 years behind grade level in reading and 3.2 years behind in math. Statewide and national reform efforts seek to close that gap. But how do we do that?

One way is to provide multi-tiered levels of support within the inclusionary classroom, but such delivery models require specific knowledge and skills. This session will inform participants about what teachers need to collaboratively deliver instruction. Presenters will share findings from research in rural areas that indicate that a meaningful sense of shared responsibility is not consistently present in schools, and the necessary structures to promote this variable are not currently in place.

Participants will gain an understanding of the context that supports shared responsibility and the action steps necessary to increase meaningful collaboration in their school. They will learn how collaboration between general and special educators in inclusionary settings has been related to teacher satisfaction and commitment. Finally, participants will be able to examine their own school context and develop steps to promote collaborative teaching systems.

Session
TBD

Liberating Learning Through Extended Learning Opportunities (ELO)

Winnacunnet High School, NH

Winnacunnet High School is liberating learning through the implementation of extended learning opportunities (ELOs). ELOs break free from traditional school structures and allow students to participate in personalized experiences that are authentic demonstrations of learning through school and community contexts. Building off of presentations from previous years, Winnacunnet High School will discuss systemic changes that continue to be made to their school-wide program.

The session will describe Winnacunnet High School’s ELO program structure, which provides rigorous, valid, and authentic components of individualized and group ELO experiences. Participants will receive tools to support the structure and implementation of an ELO program, including project planning templates, formative and summative assessment criteria, worksheets, and rubrics.

Session
Organizational Design
Contact

Rhode Island Sessions

Personalizing Learning with Student Voice and Choice

Alan Shawn Feinstein Middle School, RI

Alan Shawn Feinstein Middle School, which serves over 1,100 students, has been moving towards developing a more personalized learning environment. After teachers worked to develop a growth mindset and examined what personalized learning could look like in their classrooms, student choice and voice emerged as a key personalization structure they wanted to examine and to attempt.

In this session, participants will hear from a team of seventh-grade students and teachers about their journeys through academic units that were primarily taught via student choice and voice. Teachers will provide adaptable materials and concrete solutions for creating a personalized unit. Students will share their thoughts on what personalized learning looks like—from the curriculum, to learning targets, menus of choices, assessments, and parent responses. They will also offer their unique perspective on the challenges and joys this approach to learning brings to the classroom.

Session
Teaching + Learning
Contact

Teachers as Designers: A Human-Centered Approach to Solving Problems—and Creating New Opportunities—in Schools

Business Innovation Factory, RI

Over the past few years, “design thinking” has emerged as one of the most effective collaborative strategies that leaders, educators, and students can use to tap into the intrinsic capacities that all individuals and groups possess, but that tend to be overlooked by more conventional approaches to leadership, problem-solving, and collective action. By bringing a human-centered approach to investigating and solving problems, design thinking helps organizations and groups create experiences and products that will provide the best outcomes for everyone involved. Over the past several years, the Business Innovation Factory in Providence, Rhode Island, has been working with teachers to harness the creativity and critical-thinking skills they use everyday to solve tough problems in education—from creating student-centered schools to elevating the priorities of teachers in school governance to creating, testing, and implementing classroom activities and pedagogical approaches that meet the needs of every student.

In this workshop, participants will (1) develop a working understanding of the value and methodology of design thinking and how it can be applied to their practice, (2) learn specific exercises for using design thinking to tackle challenges in classrooms, schools, districts, and communities, and (3) be introduced to Teachers Design for Education (TD4Ed), a free, online platform that the Business Innovation Factory’s Student Experience Lab co-created with teachers.

Session
Student, Family, and Community Engagement
Presenters

Jessica Brown (Student Experience Lab Associate), Kirtley Fisher (Experience Designer), Stephanie Lanoue (Talent Associate)

Contact

Implementing Restorative Practices: Successes and Lessons Learned

Central Falls High School, RI

Data over the past several years show a substantial decline in the number of suspensions at Central Falls High School throughout their restorative practice implementation. Restorative practice is a dynamic, ongoing process and the approach at Central Falls High School integrates the perspective and work of multiple team members.

Throughout the presentation, the team will elaborate on the successes and lessons learned in developing protocols, incorporating student voice, establishing data collection protocols, and coordinating with community agencies such as the Central Falls Police Department and youth service organizations. In addition, specific data trends in discipline referrals, suspensions, and recidivism will be shared.

Participants will gain practical knowledge about the implementation of restorative practices at an urban high school, specifically the key aspects of the implementation process: daily protocols and systems, data collection and decision-making, student voice, and partnerships with community organizations.

Session
Organizational Design
Contact

Troy Silvia, silviat@cfschools.net

Being an Adult Ally: Practical Strategies for Empowering Youth Voice, Agency, and Leadership

Providence Student Union + Young Voices, RI

How can educators and other adults create authentic opportunities for youth to assume leadership roles, advocate for issues that truly matter to them, and have their voices not only be heard but acted upon by district, school, and community leaders? What is the difference between being an adult advisor and being a true adult ally? How can adults working with youth move beyond support to achieve genuine empowerment? Throughout New England and the country, educators, parents, and community members have realized that the voices, needs, and priorities of students need to be at the forefront of school improvement. Drawing on their experiences working with hundreds of youth leaders and organizers in Providence, Rhode Island, the facilitators will share lessons and best practices for empowering youth voice and action in schools and communities.

In this interactive workshop, participants will learn about the common challenges adults face when working with youth, alternative student-driven approaches educational decision-making, and practical techniques that adult allies can use to elevate youth agency in everything from municipal policy and school governance to classroom instruction and curriculum design.

Session
Student, Family, and Community Engagement
Presenters

Karen Feldman (Executive Director, Young Voices), Zack Mezera (Executive Director, Providence Student Union)

Contact

Vermont Sessions

Elements of an Engaging Learning Experience: What Students Have to Say

Harwood Union Middle and High School, VT

Coordinated student engagement can help students explore their interests, learn self-advocacy, and better understand why what they are learning is important. In this session, a student will discuss the action research project she employed to solicit student feedback and will review the qualitative and quantitative data she collected. She will also share the conditions that exist at Harwood Union Middle/High School that influence student engagement.

Participants will hear from students how student engagement is prioritized and encouraged at Harwood Union Middle/High School. They will engage in a student-facilitated Socratic dialogue around a central question derived from the action research, bringing forth a depth of diverse thinking from within the room. The Socratic dialogue will allow participants to think, in small and large groups, about conditions in their own schools and new ways to support student engagement.

Session
Teaching + Learning
Contact

Anneka Williams, awilliams2017@wwsu.org

Avoiding the Equity Traps: Personalized and Proficiency-Based Learning to Improve Outcomes for All Students

Montpelier High School, VT

To improve outcomes for all students, schools around Vermont are working hard to shift to personalized, proficiency-based learning. There is a growing concern, however, that without thoughtful implementation, flexible pathways and proficiency-based graduation requirements could actually exacerbate the achievement gap. This session will explore the potential “equity traps” posed by these challenges and examine the new systems and structures needed to provide all students with the resources they need, both in the classroom and beyond.

Through professional dialogue and examples from the field, participants will gain a deeper understanding of the importance of clarity, supports, and learner agency in the context of high school redesign initiatives. Participants will have the opportunity to examine their own schools’ systems and structures through the lens of improving equity for all students. Presenters will provide useful community-based learning, curriculum, and communications resources for schools to borrow or build from.

Session
Teaching + Learning
Contact

Michael Martin, mikem@mpsvt.org

From Passive to Active: Self-Directed Learning in Science

Proctor Jr./Sr. High School, VT

Teachers and students from Proctor Junior/Senior High School will highlight their efforts to change their school model from one that was teacher-centered to a student-centered, proficiency-based learning environment. They will focus particularly on strategies for transitioning to an asynchronous classroom in science courses, where students work at their own pace through a collaborative, inquiry-based approach to labs.

Presenters will share several key efforts that have been part of this transition to a learner-centered paradigm, including the separation of habits of work from academic expectations, capacity-building for students to track their own progress against content proficiencies and drive their own learning through formative and summative assessments, and the role that Proctor’s ‘earned honors credit’ policy plays in a larger proficiency-based approach to teaching and learning.

Participants will leave with some concrete strategies for cultivating self-direction in their students, including managing self-paced environments, creating self-directed resources for students, and enabling students to track their own progress against clear proficiencies and identify their own areas of need.

Session
Teaching + Learning
Contact

Adam Rosenberg, adam.rosenberg@rcsu.org

Preparing Students for What’s Next with Project-Based Learning

Randolph Union High School, VT

In this session, participants will get a glimpse into Randolph Union High School’s project-based learning program and learn how it prepares students for their required senior capstone project, which encapsulates the transferable skills that will prepare students for the next stage of their lives. Presenters will share student outcomes of project-based learning to illuminate how students are benefiting from their exposure to this work.

Participants in this session will hear about the strategies and resources Randolph Union High School has used to move the program forward, including their Project-Based Learning Handbook and Senior Project Manual, and they will also have the opportunity to hear from teacher and student presenters about their experiences in the program.

Session
Teaching + Learning
Contact

Students as Change Agents for Personalization: Infusing Purpose, Meaning, and Hope in School Redesign

UP for Learning, VT

Vermont has an unprecedented opportunity to help students believe in themselves as learners and reach their full potential through personalized learning and proficiency-based assessment, yet research conducted with 2,490 Vermont high school students and 378 faculty members suggests that existing mental models of key stakeholder groups stand in the way of this happening. Data collected by UP for Learning’s Communicating School Redesign schools surfaces some of the basic challenges that arise in shifting mental models as a new student-teacher paradigm is introduced.

Participants will learn about how the data have informed the efforts of 12 Vermont high schools committed to positioning students at the center of implementing personalized learning through team-generated communications campaigns. Presenters will share compelling tools and effective dialogue strategies that highlight the capacity and power of students as change agents in the school redesign process.

Participants will learn how students, working in youth-adult teams, are taking a lead role in encouraging personalized learning throughout Vermont in a variety of creative mediums. Participants will also take away a new student peer-to-peer advisory teaching model, “M3: Mindset, Metacognition and Motivation,” to help build students’ independent learning skills in readiness for personalized learning opportunities.

Session
Teaching + Learning | Student, Family, and Community Engagement
Contact

Helen Beattie, helen@upforlearning.com

Beyond NESSC

“Does this Assignment Count?” Focus on Formative Instruction and Assessment, A Critical Component in a Proficiency-Based System

Bonny Eagle High School, ME

Learn about Bonny Eagle High School’s transition to a proficiency-based system, which has been ongoing for the past five years. The work began with the identification of standards and development of summative assessments and is currently focused on formative instruction. Using a combination of Assessment For Learning (AFL) strategies, technology, and teacher ingenuity, we are improving instructional practices. As a result, student engagement is increasing and the number of students who need to remediate assessments is dropping.

Participants will see how we are getting a big impact with the use of a 1/2 time instructional coach and a handful of AFL teacher leaders to help change instruction building-wide. Learn how this work is not “one more thing” but can reduce teacher stress. At the same time, our students are beginning to take ownership of their learning.

Participants will leave with an understanding of how one high school is improving student learning by focusing on the identification of clear learning targets and helping students track their own progress as they prepare for summative assessments.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Kate Dumont (instructional coach), Erin Maguire (assistant principal), Lori Napolitano (principal)

“But How Will My Child Get Into College?”: Creating Proficiency-Based Transcripts

Baxter Academy for Technology and Science, Portland, ME

How can schools create a transcript that accurately represents student achievement in a proficiency-based system? At Baxter Academy, students do not receive a single grade at the end of a course, so traditional reports and transcripts are not an option.

After redesigning its grading scale and assessment system, Baxter Academy created an easy-to-read, easy-to-interpret transcript that represents a student’s learning over time.  Baxter’s unique transcript is built around accurate reporting on student achievement of standards using graphs and charts. The school is piloting this transcript with its first graduating class and will have feedback from post-secondary institutions as well as college acceptances to share.

Participants will learn about Baxter’s unique grading and assessment system and transcript and will leave with ideas about how to bring this authentic approach to standards-based reporting back to their schools.

Sessions
Friday, March 18, 10:45am; Friday, March 18, 1:15pm
Presenters

Katherine Driver (director of guidance), Nathaniel Edmunds (design teacher)

Presentation
Contact

“But I Have 120 Students on My Roster!”: Building Partnerships with Families in Secondary Schools

1647 Families, MA

A myth of secondary school family engagement that we hear too often is that families want to drop their kids off in ninth grade and pick them up at graduation. Is this true? (Hint: Nope.) Families want to be engaged! But even if they know that we should build partnerships with families, secondary school teachers and staff can feel overwhelmed by the thought of engaging with every family regularly, especially when they may teach over one hundred different students a year.

In this session, presenters from 1647 Families and the schools they partner with will lead an honest conversation about how the work of strengthening family engagement and partnerships is currently being done in 1647 partner schools. Presenters will explore these questions: How can staff members build equal partnerships with families in the middle- and high-school space? How can we “undo” the power dynamic between school and home that exists? And how do we create welcoming schools for all families—and support staff in doing so?

Participants will receive a brief overview of positive family engagement strategies, including proactive positive communication, re-vamped academic events (e.g., conferences), and home visits. They will also hear about the strategies that have not worked, and the lessons learned from them. Participants will walk away with tactics to try in their classrooms, teams, and/or school.

Session
Student, Family, + Community Engagement
Presenters

Elizabeth Canada (Director of Coaching)

Presentation

Elizabeth Canada, 

elizabeth.canada@1647families.org

“The Future of Learning is Yours”: Personalization through Student-Designed Projects

Westerly High School, RI

In this session, participants will hear about one school’s innovative initiative to provide alternative paths to student success with a student-designed personalized learning opportunity, which allowed students to design their own individualized learning pathways. Presenters will share how they believe this high-quality learning opportunity deepens its commitment to equity for all learners.

Presenters will outline their framework for planning and implementing a dynamic student-centered, student-motivated, student-driven project-based course. They will share their implementation strategies and explain how the course found its rhythm. Students will present their “passion projects” and comment on how their autonomy contributed to rich learning, original craftsmanship, and meaningful assessments. They will explain how their work habits connected to their academic performance.

Participants will learn to plan and grow a vibrant and personalized project-based learning course completely driven by student choices.

Session
Teaching + Learning
Presenters

Erica DeVoe (English Teacher), Michelle Doucette (Student), Todd Grimes (Principal), Jazmyne Kinney (Student), Tony Lementowicz (Instructional Coordinator), Thomas Mclaughlin (Student), Denise Oliveira (English Teacher), Hayley Townsend (Student)

Contact

A 21st Century Curriculum: Relevant, Project-based, Student-centered Learning

Milton High School, Milton, Vermont

Two years ago Milton High School undertook a complete revision of its core curriculum in grades 9–12. Using the conceptual framework developed by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills as a starting point, Milton High School set out to design curricula and instructional practices that modeled creativity, innovation, critical thinking, and collaboration using relevant, project-based, student-centered strategies that focused on real-world skills that students could apply outside of high school and in whatever life path they chose. To avoid the trap of incrementalism and stay within tight budgetary limitations, Milton developed a comprehensive, systematic improvement process that fluidly moved from development of new curricula to the implementation of a 1:1 technology initiative starting with this year’s freshman class to the delivery of the professional development needed to make it all successful in the classroom. Join educators from Milton High School as they share the challenges and successes faced on the way to realizing a 21st century learning program for every student.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Kerry Sewell (director of curriculum), Anne Blake (co-principal), Scott Thompson (assistant principal), Katri O’Neill (technology integration specialist), Karen Hammond (teacher), Angela King (teacher) Jason Gorczyk (teacher), Amanda Notman (special educator)

Contact

Scott Thompson, sthompson@mtsd-vt.org

A Call to Leadership: Harnessing the Power of Student Voice in Leading School Improvement

Harwood Union High School, Moretown, VT

At Harwood Union High School, students are not only taking a proactive role in designing their own education and planning for future learning, but in serving as leaders in the school community responsible for creating the systems and structures necessary to ensure a personalized education is possible.

In this interactive session, administrators and teachers from Harwood Union will focus on the benefits of a shared leadership model in which adults and youth lead together. The presentation will provide the rationale for this type of shared leadership model and describe the practical elements as they relate to the implementation of personalized learning.

Participants will have the opportunity to construct a proposal or plan for instituting a distributed and shared leadership model inclusive of teachers and students in their school, and will leave with an understanding of the benefits of a distributed and shared leadership model inclusive of both teachers and students.

Sessions
Thursday, March 17, 2:15pm; Thursday, March 17, 3:45pm
Presenters

Emma Cosgrove (student), Noah Eckstein (student), Jonah Ibson (teacher), Sam Krotinger (teacher), Cole Lavoie (student), Hazel Macmillan (student), Amy Rex (principal)

Contact

Amy Rex, arex@wwsu.org

A Collaborative Approach to Dropout Prevention: It’s All About the KID!

North Country Charter Academy, Littleton, NH

North Country Charter Academy is a mission-driven public charter school collaborating with ten school districts to solve an intractable dropout problem. The school offers a personalized, competency-based curriculum that utilizes a blended, distance-learning model in which students work independently and at their own pace in a brick-and-mortar building with the support of a certified teaching staff. Students are provided multiple pathways and opportunities by which to complete high school, and they earn credit when they demonstrate mastery of subject matter. Over the past ten years, the model has contributed significantly to a 74% reduction in the number of dropouts in Grafton and Coos Counties in Northern New Hampshire and has graduated a total of 362 students – 78 of which had been prior high school dropouts.

Participants will leave this session with a clear understanding of how the North Country model operates and how they can adapt this model for use in any type of educational setting.

Sessions
Thursday, March 26 | 3:45 pm; Friday, March 27 | 9:15 am
Presenters

Scott Kleinschrodt (center director), Lisa Lavoie (principal), Greg Williams (Teacher), Lynne Grigelevich (Registrar)

Presentation
Contact

A Commitment to Change: Informing School Redesign with Student Voices

Come hear three students reflect on equity in education, the meaning of success, and authentic student engagement. Tianna Ridge (Attleboro High School, MA), Jamaal Hankey (Essex High School, VT), and Anna Parker (Yarmouth High School, ME) will discuss the experiences and relationships that have contributed to their success. Tianna, Jamaal, and Anna will share their hopes for all students, and will challenge us to think about how we can each support, inspire, and engage all of the young people with whom we work. At the close of the plenary, participants will be asked to make a personal commitment to learning and leading for equity in their own way, informed by these students’ perspectives.

Session
Tuesday, March 13, 8:00-8:30 AM
Presenters

Jamaal Hankey (Student, Essex High School, VT), Andrea Summers (Senior Associate, Great Schools Partnership), Moises Nuñez (Senior Associate, Great Schools Partnership), Anna Parker (Student, Yarmouth High School, ME), Tianna Ridge (Student, Attleboro High School, MA)

A Critical Conversation about Racial Equity in Northern New England

MaineSpark, ME

How should states in northern New England approach issues of racial and ethnic equity in their education systems? What does it mean to achieve equity and close gaps in a largely homogenous region? This session will draw on Maine’s experience of developing a big-tent alliance of organizations in the education sector and beyond to address these crucial issues. We’ll share key lessons from the efforts of the New England Alliances for College and Career Readiness more broadly, then explore in depth the Maine alliance’s work to balance its focus on racial and economic equity. Session participants will learn about, analyze and discuss the work of MaineSpark’s Future Success track to empower racially diverse student populations to reach college and career readiness. Educate Maine will then lead participants in a critical conversation about approaching equity in their own classrooms, schools and districts.

Session participants will learn about approaches to discussing and working toward racial and ethnic equity in education systems, reflect on lessons learned from Maine in this area, and leverage their own expertise and experiences to generate new ideas for connecting with and engaging diverse communities in authentic ways.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Ed Cervone (executive director, Educate Maine), Kate Leveille (project manager, MaineSpark), Emily Weiss (principal, Education First Consulting)

A Mastery-Based Lesson on Mastery-Based Learning

High School in the Community, New Haven, CT

In this session, presenters will describe how High School in the Community has advanced mastery-based learning to help all students take more responsibility over their own education, while they also address skill deficits, acquire college- and career-ready skills, and excel in their areas of interest. To make the session more resonant and authentic for participants, it will be structured as a mastery-based lesson! So whether you have never heard of mastery-based learning, or whether you already changing practices in your school or classroom, our mastery-based approach will both broaden and deepen your understanding.

Session
Friday, March 21 | 9:15 am + 10:45 am
Presenters

Erik Good (building leader), Gail Emilsson (teacher), Adeline Marzialo (teacher), Julie Vargas (student)

Presentation
Contact

A New Way of Building Partnerships with Families

The Right Question Institute, MA

When parents and family members have the opportunity to develop key skills to support their children’s education, monitor progress, and advocate for them when necessary, they can partner more effectively with schools to ensure student success. The Right Question Institute’s evidence-based school-family partnership builds parents’ skills of asking better questions, participating in decisions, and playing three key roles in their child’s education. Using this strategy, parents learn to ask their own questions about their children’s education, and educators learn how to build parents’ skills for more effective participation by using a set of simple methods.

Session participants will experience the school-family partnership strategy, will explore the art and science behind the methods, and will practice integrating them into their work. This session will prepare participants to use this strategy, which has been applied to a variety of setting producing consistent results, at their schools and share it with colleagues.

In this session, participants will: 1) experience the Right Question Institute’s school-family partnership strategy 2) explore examples of implementation of the strategy; 3) acquire resources and materials.

Session
Monday, March 12, 8:30 -11:00 AM
Presenters

Luz Santana (co-director) 

Contact

Luz Santana, luz@rightquestion.org

A Sample System for Proficiency-Based Learning in the Classroom

Burlington High School, Burlington, VT

This session will introduce participants to the key elements of proficiency-based learning through an in-depth investigation of the instructional process in a high school chemistry course. The presenters will describe a flexible instructional cycle that includes frequent formative assessment and a balance of whole-class instruction and personalized time for practice, re-teaching, tutoring, and extension work. They will also share systems and strategies that teachers can use to manage highly differentiated classrooms, empower students to monitor their own learning, and create a growth-mindset culture. Additional examples from the humanities, mathematics, world languages, ELL classes, and other scientific disciplines will also be discussed to illustrate how Burlington High School teachers are applying proficiency-based structures across the curriculum.

Participants will leave with concrete strategies and an array of materials they can adapt in their own classrooms, and ample time will be provided for participants to ask questions and participate in discussion.

Session
Friday, March 27 | 10:45 am + 1:15 pm
Presenters

Amy Dickson (teacher learning coordinator), Molly Heath (science teacher)

Presentation
Contact

Amy Dickson, amy@partnershipvt.org

A Three-Step Process for Successful Learning Using Self-Assessment, Peer-Assessment, and Reassessment Effectively

Poland Regional High School, ME

At Poland Regional High School, a flagship public high school for proficiency-based education in Maine, an emphasis on self- and peer-assessment and a school-wide process for reassessment has supported students towards successfully reaching their learning goals. Teachers have implemented classroom tasks specifically designed from the current leading guidelines for self- and peer-assessment in hopes of making each student’s learning process transparent. Furthermore, a school-wide process for reassessment has been adopted to ensure each student has the opportunity to demonstrate their best learning on summative assessments. In this session we will walk you through the process that our science, math, and humanities classes have developed for self- and peer-assessment as well as outline the process we took to develop our school-wide reassessment protocol.

Participants will leave this session with practical approaches to teaching self- and peer-assessment; an understanding of how reassessment opportunities can reinforce learning and how assessment strategies are managed in a proficiency based/ standards-based system.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Jessica Elias Castillo (science teacher), Patrick Martin (biology and anatomy/physiology teacher), Laurie Sevigny (social studies teacher)

A Vision for Learning: Using Self-Reflection and Peer Review to Align Your School Improvement Efforts

New England Association of Schools and Colleges, MA

In this session participants will learn how to use research-based NEASC CPS Standards which define best practices as a tool for self-reflection and peer review. Through a process of self-reflection based on evidence and in collaboration with stakeholders, schools can develop a vision for learning with specific and measurable goals for success. Participants will use collaborative practices to explore the NEASC CPS Standards for Accreditation, focusing on student learning. We will do a crosswalk with the Global Best Practices to see how to align school improvement efforts. Participants will experience elements of the self-reflection process including the review of student work, classroom observations, document review, survey data, stakeholder interviews, and peer review. With the Standards in mind and the understanding of the essential components of self-reflection, participants will develop an outline for a process to improve learning, achievement, and well-being for students.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Alyson Geary (deputy director), Bill Wehrli (associate director)

Agents of Their Own Learning: A District’s Proficiency-Based System Enters Maturity

Regional School Unit 2, Hallowell, ME

Regional School Unit 2 has been implementing K–12 proficiency-based learning for several years now. Join the presenters as they describe how their model has given students significant amounts of voice and choice in their learning. In the district’s three high schools, students have authentic opportunities to design their own learning pathways, learn at their own pace, and engage in learning experiences that not only match their interests, but that build upon the resources and opportunities that exist in the wider community. In this session, participants will learn about the structure, schedule, and other design elements that have empowered the district to dramatically increase personalization for students without watering down standards.

Session
Thursday, March 20 | 2:15 pm + 3:45 pm
Presenters

Rick Amero (principal, Monmouth Academy), John Armentrout (director, information technology), Christine Arsenault (teacher, Monmouth Academy), Brenda Dalbeck (teacher, Hall-Dale High School), Virgel Hammonds (superintendent), Libby Ladner (teacher, Hall-Dale Middle School), Steve Lavoie (principal, Richmond High School), Eric Palleschi (teacher, Monmouth Middle School), Megan Rounds (teacher, Richmond High School), Matt Shea (coordinator of student achievement), Mark Tinkham (principal, Hall-Dale High/Middle School), Charlie Urquhart (teacher, Richmond High School)

Presentation
Contact

Virgel Hammonds, vhammonds@kidsrsu.org

NESSC

“Does this Assignment Count?” Focus on Formative Instruction and Assessment, A Critical Component in a Proficiency-Based System

Bonny Eagle High School, ME

Learn about Bonny Eagle High School’s transition to a proficiency-based system, which has been ongoing for the past five years. The work began with the identification of standards and development of summative assessments and is currently focused on formative instruction. Using a combination of Assessment For Learning (AFL) strategies, technology, and teacher ingenuity, we are improving instructional practices. As a result, student engagement is increasing and the number of students who need to remediate assessments is dropping.

Participants will see how we are getting a big impact with the use of a 1/2 time instructional coach and a handful of AFL teacher leaders to help change instruction building-wide. Learn how this work is not “one more thing” but can reduce teacher stress. At the same time, our students are beginning to take ownership of their learning.

Participants will leave with an understanding of how one high school is improving student learning by focusing on the identification of clear learning targets and helping students track their own progress as they prepare for summative assessments.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Kate Dumont (instructional coach), Erin Maguire (assistant principal), Lori Napolitano (principal)

“But How Will My Child Get Into College?”: Creating Proficiency-Based Transcripts

Baxter Academy for Technology and Science, Portland, ME

How can schools create a transcript that accurately represents student achievement in a proficiency-based system? At Baxter Academy, students do not receive a single grade at the end of a course, so traditional reports and transcripts are not an option.

After redesigning its grading scale and assessment system, Baxter Academy created an easy-to-read, easy-to-interpret transcript that represents a student’s learning over time.  Baxter’s unique transcript is built around accurate reporting on student achievement of standards using graphs and charts. The school is piloting this transcript with its first graduating class and will have feedback from post-secondary institutions as well as college acceptances to share.

Participants will learn about Baxter’s unique grading and assessment system and transcript and will leave with ideas about how to bring this authentic approach to standards-based reporting back to their schools.

Sessions
Friday, March 18, 10:45am; Friday, March 18, 1:15pm
Presenters

Katherine Driver (director of guidance), Nathaniel Edmunds (design teacher)

Presentation
Contact

“But I Have 120 Students on My Roster!”: Building Partnerships with Families in Secondary Schools

1647 Families, MA

A myth of secondary school family engagement that we hear too often is that families want to drop their kids off in ninth grade and pick them up at graduation. Is this true? (Hint: Nope.) Families want to be engaged! But even if they know that we should build partnerships with families, secondary school teachers and staff can feel overwhelmed by the thought of engaging with every family regularly, especially when they may teach over one hundred different students a year.

In this session, presenters from 1647 Families and the schools they partner with will lead an honest conversation about how the work of strengthening family engagement and partnerships is currently being done in 1647 partner schools. Presenters will explore these questions: How can staff members build equal partnerships with families in the middle- and high-school space? How can we “undo” the power dynamic between school and home that exists? And how do we create welcoming schools for all families—and support staff in doing so?

Participants will receive a brief overview of positive family engagement strategies, including proactive positive communication, re-vamped academic events (e.g., conferences), and home visits. They will also hear about the strategies that have not worked, and the lessons learned from them. Participants will walk away with tactics to try in their classrooms, teams, and/or school.

Session
Student, Family, + Community Engagement
Presenters

Elizabeth Canada (Director of Coaching)

Presentation

Elizabeth Canada, 

elizabeth.canada@1647families.org

“The Future of Learning is Yours”: Personalization through Student-Designed Projects

Westerly High School, RI

In this session, participants will hear about one school’s innovative initiative to provide alternative paths to student success with a student-designed personalized learning opportunity, which allowed students to design their own individualized learning pathways. Presenters will share how they believe this high-quality learning opportunity deepens its commitment to equity for all learners.

Presenters will outline their framework for planning and implementing a dynamic student-centered, student-motivated, student-driven project-based course. They will share their implementation strategies and explain how the course found its rhythm. Students will present their “passion projects” and comment on how their autonomy contributed to rich learning, original craftsmanship, and meaningful assessments. They will explain how their work habits connected to their academic performance.

Participants will learn to plan and grow a vibrant and personalized project-based learning course completely driven by student choices.

Session
Teaching + Learning
Presenters

Erica DeVoe (English Teacher), Michelle Doucette (Student), Todd Grimes (Principal), Jazmyne Kinney (Student), Tony Lementowicz (Instructional Coordinator), Thomas Mclaughlin (Student), Denise Oliveira (English Teacher), Hayley Townsend (Student)

Contact

A 21st Century Curriculum: Relevant, Project-based, Student-centered Learning

Milton High School, Milton, Vermont

Two years ago Milton High School undertook a complete revision of its core curriculum in grades 9–12. Using the conceptual framework developed by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills as a starting point, Milton High School set out to design curricula and instructional practices that modeled creativity, innovation, critical thinking, and collaboration using relevant, project-based, student-centered strategies that focused on real-world skills that students could apply outside of high school and in whatever life path they chose. To avoid the trap of incrementalism and stay within tight budgetary limitations, Milton developed a comprehensive, systematic improvement process that fluidly moved from development of new curricula to the implementation of a 1:1 technology initiative starting with this year’s freshman class to the delivery of the professional development needed to make it all successful in the classroom. Join educators from Milton High School as they share the challenges and successes faced on the way to realizing a 21st century learning program for every student.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Kerry Sewell (director of curriculum), Anne Blake (co-principal), Scott Thompson (assistant principal), Katri O’Neill (technology integration specialist), Karen Hammond (teacher), Angela King (teacher) Jason Gorczyk (teacher), Amanda Notman (special educator)

Contact

Scott Thompson, sthompson@mtsd-vt.org

A Call to Leadership: Harnessing the Power of Student Voice in Leading School Improvement

Harwood Union High School, Moretown, VT

At Harwood Union High School, students are not only taking a proactive role in designing their own education and planning for future learning, but in serving as leaders in the school community responsible for creating the systems and structures necessary to ensure a personalized education is possible.

In this interactive session, administrators and teachers from Harwood Union will focus on the benefits of a shared leadership model in which adults and youth lead together. The presentation will provide the rationale for this type of shared leadership model and describe the practical elements as they relate to the implementation of personalized learning.

Participants will have the opportunity to construct a proposal or plan for instituting a distributed and shared leadership model inclusive of teachers and students in their school, and will leave with an understanding of the benefits of a distributed and shared leadership model inclusive of both teachers and students.

Sessions
Thursday, March 17, 2:15pm; Thursday, March 17, 3:45pm
Presenters

Emma Cosgrove (student), Noah Eckstein (student), Jonah Ibson (teacher), Sam Krotinger (teacher), Cole Lavoie (student), Hazel Macmillan (student), Amy Rex (principal)

Contact

Amy Rex, arex@wwsu.org

A Collaborative Approach to Dropout Prevention: It’s All About the KID!

North Country Charter Academy, Littleton, NH

North Country Charter Academy is a mission-driven public charter school collaborating with ten school districts to solve an intractable dropout problem. The school offers a personalized, competency-based curriculum that utilizes a blended, distance-learning model in which students work independently and at their own pace in a brick-and-mortar building with the support of a certified teaching staff. Students are provided multiple pathways and opportunities by which to complete high school, and they earn credit when they demonstrate mastery of subject matter. Over the past ten years, the model has contributed significantly to a 74% reduction in the number of dropouts in Grafton and Coos Counties in Northern New Hampshire and has graduated a total of 362 students – 78 of which had been prior high school dropouts.

Participants will leave this session with a clear understanding of how the North Country model operates and how they can adapt this model for use in any type of educational setting.

Sessions
Thursday, March 26 | 3:45 pm; Friday, March 27 | 9:15 am
Presenters

Scott Kleinschrodt (center director), Lisa Lavoie (principal), Greg Williams (Teacher), Lynne Grigelevich (Registrar)

Presentation
Contact

A Commitment to Change: Informing School Redesign with Student Voices

Come hear three students reflect on equity in education, the meaning of success, and authentic student engagement. Tianna Ridge (Attleboro High School, MA), Jamaal Hankey (Essex High School, VT), and Anna Parker (Yarmouth High School, ME) will discuss the experiences and relationships that have contributed to their success. Tianna, Jamaal, and Anna will share their hopes for all students, and will challenge us to think about how we can each support, inspire, and engage all of the young people with whom we work. At the close of the plenary, participants will be asked to make a personal commitment to learning and leading for equity in their own way, informed by these students’ perspectives.

Session
Tuesday, March 13, 8:00-8:30 AM
Presenters

Jamaal Hankey (Student, Essex High School, VT), Andrea Summers (Senior Associate, Great Schools Partnership), Moises Nuñez (Senior Associate, Great Schools Partnership), Anna Parker (Student, Yarmouth High School, ME), Tianna Ridge (Student, Attleboro High School, MA)

A Critical Conversation about Racial Equity in Northern New England

MaineSpark, ME

How should states in northern New England approach issues of racial and ethnic equity in their education systems? What does it mean to achieve equity and close gaps in a largely homogenous region? This session will draw on Maine’s experience of developing a big-tent alliance of organizations in the education sector and beyond to address these crucial issues. We’ll share key lessons from the efforts of the New England Alliances for College and Career Readiness more broadly, then explore in depth the Maine alliance’s work to balance its focus on racial and economic equity. Session participants will learn about, analyze and discuss the work of MaineSpark’s Future Success track to empower racially diverse student populations to reach college and career readiness. Educate Maine will then lead participants in a critical conversation about approaching equity in their own classrooms, schools and districts.

Session participants will learn about approaches to discussing and working toward racial and ethnic equity in education systems, reflect on lessons learned from Maine in this area, and leverage their own expertise and experiences to generate new ideas for connecting with and engaging diverse communities in authentic ways.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Ed Cervone (executive director, Educate Maine), Kate Leveille (project manager, MaineSpark), Emily Weiss (principal, Education First Consulting)

A Mastery-Based Lesson on Mastery-Based Learning

High School in the Community, New Haven, CT

In this session, presenters will describe how High School in the Community has advanced mastery-based learning to help all students take more responsibility over their own education, while they also address skill deficits, acquire college- and career-ready skills, and excel in their areas of interest. To make the session more resonant and authentic for participants, it will be structured as a mastery-based lesson! So whether you have never heard of mastery-based learning, or whether you already changing practices in your school or classroom, our mastery-based approach will both broaden and deepen your understanding.

Session
Friday, March 21 | 9:15 am + 10:45 am
Presenters

Erik Good (building leader), Gail Emilsson (teacher), Adeline Marzialo (teacher), Julie Vargas (student)

Presentation
Contact

A New Way of Building Partnerships with Families

The Right Question Institute, MA

When parents and family members have the opportunity to develop key skills to support their children’s education, monitor progress, and advocate for them when necessary, they can partner more effectively with schools to ensure student success. The Right Question Institute’s evidence-based school-family partnership builds parents’ skills of asking better questions, participating in decisions, and playing three key roles in their child’s education. Using this strategy, parents learn to ask their own questions about their children’s education, and educators learn how to build parents’ skills for more effective participation by using a set of simple methods.

Session participants will experience the school-family partnership strategy, will explore the art and science behind the methods, and will practice integrating them into their work. This session will prepare participants to use this strategy, which has been applied to a variety of setting producing consistent results, at their schools and share it with colleagues.

In this session, participants will: 1) experience the Right Question Institute’s school-family partnership strategy 2) explore examples of implementation of the strategy; 3) acquire resources and materials.

Session
Monday, March 12, 8:30 -11:00 AM
Presenters

Luz Santana (co-director) 

Contact

Luz Santana, luz@rightquestion.org

A Sample System for Proficiency-Based Learning in the Classroom

Burlington High School, Burlington, VT

This session will introduce participants to the key elements of proficiency-based learning through an in-depth investigation of the instructional process in a high school chemistry course. The presenters will describe a flexible instructional cycle that includes frequent formative assessment and a balance of whole-class instruction and personalized time for practice, re-teaching, tutoring, and extension work. They will also share systems and strategies that teachers can use to manage highly differentiated classrooms, empower students to monitor their own learning, and create a growth-mindset culture. Additional examples from the humanities, mathematics, world languages, ELL classes, and other scientific disciplines will also be discussed to illustrate how Burlington High School teachers are applying proficiency-based structures across the curriculum.

Participants will leave with concrete strategies and an array of materials they can adapt in their own classrooms, and ample time will be provided for participants to ask questions and participate in discussion.

Session
Friday, March 27 | 10:45 am + 1:15 pm
Presenters

Amy Dickson (teacher learning coordinator), Molly Heath (science teacher)

Presentation
Contact

Amy Dickson, amy@partnershipvt.org

A Three-Step Process for Successful Learning Using Self-Assessment, Peer-Assessment, and Reassessment Effectively

Poland Regional High School, ME

At Poland Regional High School, a flagship public high school for proficiency-based education in Maine, an emphasis on self- and peer-assessment and a school-wide process for reassessment has supported students towards successfully reaching their learning goals. Teachers have implemented classroom tasks specifically designed from the current leading guidelines for self- and peer-assessment in hopes of making each student’s learning process transparent. Furthermore, a school-wide process for reassessment has been adopted to ensure each student has the opportunity to demonstrate their best learning on summative assessments. In this session we will walk you through the process that our science, math, and humanities classes have developed for self- and peer-assessment as well as outline the process we took to develop our school-wide reassessment protocol.

Participants will leave this session with practical approaches to teaching self- and peer-assessment; an understanding of how reassessment opportunities can reinforce learning and how assessment strategies are managed in a proficiency based/ standards-based system.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Jessica Elias Castillo (science teacher), Patrick Martin (biology and anatomy/physiology teacher), Laurie Sevigny (social studies teacher)

A Vision for Learning: Using Self-Reflection and Peer Review to Align Your School Improvement Efforts

New England Association of Schools and Colleges, MA

In this session participants will learn how to use research-based NEASC CPS Standards which define best practices as a tool for self-reflection and peer review. Through a process of self-reflection based on evidence and in collaboration with stakeholders, schools can develop a vision for learning with specific and measurable goals for success. Participants will use collaborative practices to explore the NEASC CPS Standards for Accreditation, focusing on student learning. We will do a crosswalk with the Global Best Practices to see how to align school improvement efforts. Participants will experience elements of the self-reflection process including the review of student work, classroom observations, document review, survey data, stakeholder interviews, and peer review. With the Standards in mind and the understanding of the essential components of self-reflection, participants will develop an outline for a process to improve learning, achievement, and well-being for students.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Alyson Geary (deputy director), Bill Wehrli (associate director)

Agents of Their Own Learning: A District’s Proficiency-Based System Enters Maturity

Regional School Unit 2, Hallowell, ME

Regional School Unit 2 has been implementing K–12 proficiency-based learning for several years now. Join the presenters as they describe how their model has given students significant amounts of voice and choice in their learning. In the district’s three high schools, students have authentic opportunities to design their own learning pathways, learn at their own pace, and engage in learning experiences that not only match their interests, but that build upon the resources and opportunities that exist in the wider community. In this session, participants will learn about the structure, schedule, and other design elements that have empowered the district to dramatically increase personalization for students without watering down standards.

Session
Thursday, March 20 | 2:15 pm + 3:45 pm
Presenters

Rick Amero (principal, Monmouth Academy), John Armentrout (director, information technology), Christine Arsenault (teacher, Monmouth Academy), Brenda Dalbeck (teacher, Hall-Dale High School), Virgel Hammonds (superintendent), Libby Ladner (teacher, Hall-Dale Middle School), Steve Lavoie (principal, Richmond High School), Eric Palleschi (teacher, Monmouth Middle School), Megan Rounds (teacher, Richmond High School), Matt Shea (coordinator of student achievement), Mark Tinkham (principal, Hall-Dale High/Middle School), Charlie Urquhart (teacher, Richmond High School)

Presentation
Contact

Virgel Hammonds, vhammonds@kidsrsu.org

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